What Asthma Is
1 Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. It is the most common long-term disease of children. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing.
2 We know that family history contributes to susceptibility, but in most cases we don’t know what causes asthma to develop, and we don’t know how to cure asthma. You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that trigger an attack, and following the advice of your doctor.
Effects of Asthma
3 In 2001, 20.3 million Americans had asthma, and 12 million had had an asthma attack in the previous year. If a person has a parent with asthma, he or she is three to six times more likely to develop asthma than is a person who does not have a parent with asthma.
How Asthma Is Diagnosed
4 Asthma can be difficult to diagnose, especially in children under 5 years old. Regular physical exams that include checks of lung function and for allergies can help make the right diagnosis.
5 A health-care provider trying to diagnose asthma will ask you questions about coughing, especially coughing at night, and whether breathing problems are worse after physical activity or during a particular time of year. Providers also ask about other symptoms, such as chest tightness, wheezing, and colds that last more than 10 days.
6 Also, a provider will ask about your family history of asthma, allergy and other breathing problems, and your home environment. He or she also will ask about lost school or work days and limits on your activity.
7 Testing of lung function, called spirometry, is another way to diagnose asthma. A spirometer is a piece of equipment that measures the largest amount of air you can exhale after taking a very deep breath. Airflow can be measured before and after you use an asthma medication.
What An Asthma Attack Is
8 Airways are the paths that carry air to the lungs. As the air moves through the lungs, the airways become smaller, like branches of a tree. During an attack, the sides of the airways in your lungs become inflamed and swollen. Muscles around the airways tighten, and less air passes in and out of the lungs. Excess mucus forms in the airways, clogging them even more. The attack, also called an episode, can include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
Causes Of An Asthma Attack
9Environmental exposures, such as house dust mites and environmental tobacco smoke, are important triggers of an attack. Some of these triggers are listed in the box below.
How Asthma Is Treated
10 You can control your asthma and avoid an attack by taking your medicine as prescribed and avoiding the triggers that can cause an attack. It’s just as important that you remove the triggers in your environment that you know make your asthma worse.
11 Medicine for asthma is different for each person. It can be inhaled or taken as a pill and comes in two types—quick-relief and long-term control. Quick-relief medicines control the symptoms of an asthma attack. If you are using your quick-relief medicines more and more you should visit your health-care provider to change your asthma management plan. Long-term control medicines make you have fewer and milder attacks, but they don’t help you if you’re having an attack.
Important Asthma Triggers:
12 Mattress covers and pillow case covers provide a barrier between house dust mites and the person with asthma. Down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters should not be used and stuffed animals and clutter should be removed from bedrooms.
13 Furry pets may trigger an attack. The simplest solution to this situation is to find another home for the pet. However, some pet owners may be too attached to their pets or unable to locate a safe new home for the animal. Any animal causing an allergic reaction should not be allowed in the bedroom. Pets should be kept outside as much as possible and bathed weekly. People with asthma are not allergic to their pet’s fur,so trimming the pet’s fur will not help your asthma. Frequent vacuuming will reduce the presence of the allergen. If the room has a hard surface floor, it should be damp mopped weekly.
14 When mold is inhaled, it can cause asthma attacks. Eliminating mold throughout the home can help control asthma attacks. Keep humidity levels between 35% and 50%. In hot, humid climates, this may require the use of air conditioning and/or dehumidifiers. Fixing water leaks and cleaning up any mold in the home can also help.
This passage presents information about asthma in which logical order?
B) cause and effect
C) alphabetical order
D) compare and contrast
The author supports the information in paragraph three with
A) a personal anecdote
B) statistics and facts
C) a persuasive argument
D) step-by-step instructions
The author's purpose in including paragraph 11 is to
A) show that asthma can be completely cured.
B) diagnose the type of asthma medicine one needs.
C) provide a detailed description of asthma medication.
D) provide an overview of medicines available for asthma sufferers.
By defining unfamiliar terms such as spirometry, spirometer, and episode, the writer makes this passage
A) more convincing.
B) more complicated.
C) easier to understand.
D) more interesting to a doctor.
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